The cosmos, so the sages say, has been created by the One Being as an emanation of himself. It has been projected out of and within himself, as successive worlds or levels of creation, as a hierarchy of being.
According to some, in the course of this emanative process, mind first appears high up in this hierarchy as the primal architect of the duality that leads to the multiplicity in which we now find ourselves. At that high level in creation, we can call it the universal mind. And from that point onwards, every little being as it descends further into the creation has – so to speak – a little bit of this greater mind attached, through which it views creation.
Practically all traditions say that there are a host of heavens or worlds (“many mansions”, “all the worlds”) in the creation, of ever-increasing subtlety. These realms are levels or stages in the hierarchy of creation. And as the little beings descend, they are equipped with minds (and bodies) suitable for functioning in those realms. It’s an automatic process. And right down at the bottom of this hierarchy, there’s our familiar, physical world.
We would certainly agree that where we find ourselves right now, we have a mind and body. No denying that. But in the process of communicating with the physical world, we have become so increasingly identified first with our mind, and then with our body, that we have forgotten our innermost essence, our innermost secret. We have forgotten that we are all little beings dwelling in his big Being. Some folk have called this forgetfulness, the Fall. First, we were all cosy, living in the blissful, eternal garden of the One Being. Then we got involved with mind and duality, and now look at us! No wonder they cast the mind as a deceiving serpent.
The human mind, being a part of the greater mind from which all this duality and activity originates, is attracted by multiplicity and diversity. This, however, makes it very unhappy, and to fill the vacuum of its own unhappiness, it seeks further diversity. It tries to find happiness in all the changing things around it – pleasures, possessions, and attractions of every conceivable kind. Of course, things that change can’t bring any lasting happiness, and so the mind gets even more frustrated, restless and miserable.
In this manner, entangled in its own illusions, the mind further develops its sense of a separate identity, which it believes to be real. It identifies completely with its own thoughts, feelings, and bodily experiences. It even starts to think that it is nothing but the body itself. Thus, the apparent isolation of the little beings from the one big Being is complete. And in their distress, the little beings create mayhem and suffer even more as a consequence. And that is what we call human existence.
John Davidson, One Being One
As I have often repeated, the soul and the mind are knotted together in the human body and it is only when the mind is controlled by the soul that the mind can return to its source, which is the second spiritual stage. From that point onward the soul is free to return to its own original home. But as long as the mind is dominated by the senses, it does not realize that the world is not its home and keeps the soul bound here along with it.
Maharaj Charan Singh, Quest for Light